A Missouri S&T student and recent Ph.D. graduate were recently awarded $50,000 to build their entrepreneurial start-up company and achieve new business goals.
The Missouri S&T duo who earned funding are George Holmes Jr., a 2020 mechanical engineering Ph.D. graduate from Missouri S&T, and Keyri Moreno Bonnett, a graduating senior in mechanical engineering from Bogota, Colombia. Together the two have created “Hire Henry,” a company that provides autonomous heavy duty robotic lawn mowers to commercial landscapers.
Hire Henry is one of six companies selected out of over 430 applicants to earn the $50,000 cash award. The six selected startups will participate in an eight-week business development program, which begins in January 2021. The selected founders will also have access to nearly $200,000 of in-kind resources such as education, mentorship and other forms of support.
The funding for the six teams comes from the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Accelerator program of UMSL Accelerate at the University of Missouri-St. Louis. The program aims to put underrepresented entrepreneurs at the center of a purpose-driven, university-led accelerator that begins with a non-dilutive $50,000 capital injection. The accelerator is supported by private support and the public commitment of Ameren Corp., Edward Jones and Express Scripts. It encourages entrepreneurs of all backgrounds to apply for funding.
For more information about the UMSL program, visit umsl.edu/accelerate/dei.html.
About Missouri University of Science and Technology
Founded in 1870 as the University of Missouri School of Mines and Metallurgy, Missouri University of Science and Technology (Missouri S&T) is a STEM-focused research university of over 7,600 students and part of the four-campus University of Missouri System. Located in Rolla, Missouri, Missouri S&T offers 99 different degree programs in 40 areas of study, including engineering, the sciences, business and information technology, education, the humanities, and the liberal arts. Missouri S&T is known globally and is highly ranked for providing a strong return on tuition investment, exceptional career opportunities for graduates, and an emphasis on applied, hands-on learning through student design teams and cooperative education and internship opportunities. For more information about Missouri S&T, visit www.mst.edu.